Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Seam Reader’s twelveth blog of all time. Twelve weeks of baseball methods from a family dedicated to making everyone who reads them, a better baseball or softball player. When you breakdown the content written you need to know it comes from a lineage of baseball people steeped in tradition of time tested truths about the game. People of vision like my father Ken Tiefenthaler and Leon Blume, my college coaches Rod Soesbe, Clint Meyers, and Tom Pratt (R.I.P.), my professional coaches Earl Weaver, Frank Verdi, Cal Ripken Sr., Grady Little, John Hart, Jimmy Driscoll, and World Series champion Joe Maddon. Also players such as Cal and Bill Ripken, Carl Nichols, Billy Hatcher, Mark Doran, Charlie Kerfeld, and Kirby Puckett, just to name a few. Mix in thirty plus years of instructing, coaching and learning from these truths, and you can confidently raise an awareness about the game that hasn’t been sufficiently studied. A “cracking of the code” possibly of a skill as old as the game itself. A part of hitting that may be the missing link in every conversation there is about “TIMING” and how to achieve it. Why a hitter swings the bat, or doesn’t swing the bat. You hear instructors talking about pitch-recognition all of the time but they spend so little of that time talking about true pitch-recognition and the “VISION” necessary to actually be on-time. That is what the ball looks like right out of the pitchers hand. We at Seam Readers talk about it all of the time.
Vision is the most important part of every game and especially baseball and hitting. It is taken for granted at almost every level. Vision is what allows the brain to remember. It takes your athletic ability to a heightened state of awareness. Vision is an important aspect to all learning. You have to have your vision tested for any number of the things during the course of your life. I remember as a kid we had the county nurse come to our school once a year and test our eyes and vision. The first time I was tested, I was told I had 20/16 vision. Which meant that I could see at twenty feet what the 20/20 eyes could see at sixteen feet. As the years went by, my eyesight got better and when I was in college, professional baseball scouts tested me at 20/10. It is said that Barry Bonds had the best eyesight some had ever tested, the theoretical human limit. The question we want to ask here at Seam Readers is can our vision be trained? Since the average eyesight in the Major Leagues now is 20/12, can the younger generation with eyesight not quite as good, learn the faces of every pitch? Trained to a degree that they can be taught what pitches look like? What patterns on the front of the ball that the seams create that the brain remembers and recognizes? Having the ability to identify a pitch based on how it looks? That is Seam Reading.
In conclusion, all time Major League Hits Leader Pete Rose said, “You have to know what the seams look like so you can hit the ball.” How? Vision. When great hitters tell you that they were looking fastball first, how did they know it was a fastball? Vision. We said in our first blog of all time that “Seams Never Lie.” How do we know? VISION… tells us so. Maybe it’s time for a new test. Have a great week.
The drill for this week is simple find a vision training game or app that helps trains your vision and reaction. Let us know what you find. If you need a recommendation, go no further check out our free app Seam Reader on iOS and GooglePlay.